Dad and 5 y/o Daughter needs a little planning help

Discussion in 'Camping at Disney World' started by colinsdad, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. colinsdad

    colinsdad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    637
    Hi All. I'm a Disney veteran who's done a few Dad/Son solo trips (twice when before he was 2 so I know what I'm getting myself into), but I now want to take my 5y/o daughter for a Dad/Daughter trip. I'd really like to take her camping at FW because I think it would be fantastic. But I have a few questions.

    We'd be flying down. So question one is can you use Magical Express? I figure I'd obviously have to grab my bags/tent before hopping on the bus, but is this an option? Will I be the only person without a car?

    Also, ME if an option would get us to FW around noon. Would I be able to check in and set up my tent right away or do you have to wait till 4pm to check in?

    And FW is so big, would I have to take the bus from the check-in area to get to my site?

    Thanks for any input/help. :goodvibes
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. KPSmithSr

    KPSmithSr Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Messages:
    193
    HI,

    Yes you can take the MExpress, I would grap all my stuff before going to the bus.

    The time the ME gets you to FW depends on when you get in, when the bus if full and what other stops the bus makes. If you get there at noon, there is fair to good chance your site will be ready but if not you should only have to wait a short while.

    I would think you would want to take the inter-Fort bus to your site, unless you like packing your gear in maybe 0.5 miles or more. You will NOT be the only one without a car.

    Have fun.
     
  4. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    13,839
    From check-in they will actually shuttle your stuff to your site in a van.
     
  5. amylevan

    amylevan DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Messages:
    875
    Yes, you can take ME, and yes, I'd suggest grabbing your bags & tent first, so do not use the ME tags.

    No, you won't be the only person without a car. Plenty of folks either have drivable RVs without a tow vehicle or fly down and stay in the cabins without a car. We have our truck since we pull a 5'er, but we never actually use it anyhow.

    By noonish, you would probably be able to get to your site. And they will shuttle you to a site if you let them know.
     
  6. JanL

    JanL Native Floridian

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    189
    For an additional $60 a night, you can rent a pop-up and have everything you need all set up for you....just bring the kid, toiletries, and clothes. Plus you will have air conditioning or heat, cooking facilities, and no worries about wind or rain.
     
  7. Southern Bell

    Southern Bell DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    759
    JanL Where do you rent the pop up from? Fort wilderness? Just wondering for family that sometime want to go and I can't take all of them.

    Colinsdad I think check in is at 1 pm for the campsites. Thats what I'm counting on! So hope I'm right!
    I don't know if they'll let everyone get their luggage if using the magical express. My daughter has used it but we brought her luggage down in our car. I don't think she had to wait for everyone to get their luggage. I know it says on Disney site it may take awhile (up to 3 hrs) to recieve your luggage. But since I've never done that I don't know if thats normally what they do or they are just covering themselves for any unseen problems by the comment!

    I have camped at Disney without air conditioner and I would want to camp as near the pool as possible if you are coming in the summer!
     
  8. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    13,839
    It would be from local renters, not WDW.
     
  9. DisDaddy1

    DisDaddy1 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    I would think about renting a golf cart. It'd be great for you and you girl to get to the boat and the outpost. It's also cool to have to drive around the campground.
     
  10. JanL

    JanL Native Floridian

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    189
    In August I'll be renting a pop-up from Fort Camper Rentals
    (fortcamperrental.com). What a treat to just drive up and start camping, then leave without the hassel of packing it all up again!
     
  11. Bearikens

    Bearikens Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Messages:
    191
    one additional point concerning the shuttle van: be sure to ask for the ride to your campsite when you are checking in
     
  12. colinsdad

    colinsdad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    637
    Thank you to everyone who posted this great information. It's making me feel a lot more confident in my choice of FW. :thanks:
     
  13. CarolineB

    CarolineB DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    712
    I camped twice at Ft. Wilderness by myself and my DS who was 2 1/2 the first trip and just turned 3 the second trip. I did about 4 days each trip. We stayed in our own tent (first time in premium campsite and second time in a regular campsite.) The premium campsite was great (nice and quiet) but the regular tent site was too noisy because of the buses rolling by and also we were too close to the bathrooms (a door kept slamming shut every time someone went in or out.) Don't be afraid to change your site if you don't like it -- I would never suffer again if the campsite wasn't working out for me.

    What I liked about Ft. Wilderness is that there's so many dining options that you don't need to worry about meals. I didn't want to cook because I had a young child. You can walk the nature trail or take the boat for meals too at the Wilderness Lodge.

    We had a great time -- we didn't really do a lot at the campground because we went to the parks and really just wanted the camping to get extra magic hours and convenience to the parks.

    My son loved both camping trips and we now live 15 minutes to the Ft. and still love visiting.

    During both trips, my tent was way too large for us and for me to put up by myself and neighbors or CMs riding by on their shuttles were always so nice to give me a hand putting up my tent for the last 5 minutes of getting the poles in place.

    I had my own car so I wasn't flying so I can't comment on the airport shuttle. Renting the golf cart is probably a good idea if it's in your budget. If not, the internal bus system is really easy to use.

    Is your visit going to be the October 2013 trip? It's hard to say how hot the weather will be -- the week that I was at the campsite, it was very, very hot.

    I had battery operated fans for the tent. (I would have used electric if I had room in the car or thought about just throwing them out after the camping.)
     
  14. Lilliputian

    Lilliputian DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    655
    I'm wondering how you're going to handle showers. 5 years old is too old for a girl in the men's comfort station, and I don't think any of my children would have been able to manage it all by themselves at 5, unless she's been recently and knows how to do it already. The showers there may not turn on exactly like the showers at your house, and it certainly won't have to be turned to the same spot to make it the perfect temperature for her. I think that part would be overwhelming to a child that age. My 5 year olds do take showers on their own at home, but it's a lot different when it's a new shower, carrying everything you'll need to the comfort station, etc. Renting an RV with a bathroom or getting a cabin might be a better idea.
     
  15. Southern Bell

    Southern Bell DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    759
    I wondered about the bathroom too. I would not let my 4 yr old grandson go in the mens bathroom or next summer when he is almost 5 by himself. Even if I felt like it was safe for him to run into the mens and me stand at the door waiting for him , I don't think he could do a shower by himself or by next summer. He couldn't adjust the water, get his shower stuff out of his bag, pack it all back up. I don't know where his clothes & towel would end up! LOL! No doubt I would end up having to go in the mens and help him or get his stuff. That would be worse. I take him in the womens bathroom now with no problem. But the womens is a lot more private. A little girl going in the mens is a little different and seems worse. But I guess I would check the mens bathroom going in and coming out, and keep her with me. I don't know what else you could do. You can't go help her in the womens. With alot of the campers having a bathroom maybe yours won't be so busy. Lakewood Campground at Myrtle beach has a section of bathrooms that are single & private. To bad Disney doesn't. I was thinking of those $30 portable showers you can get at Walmart. Might be an option.
     
  16. OrlandoUnited

    OrlandoUnited Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    107
    Comfort stations aren't a big deal. I've gone with my daughters, then 5 and 3. It's not like men have their tallywhackers hanging around. I took them both in to the stall, washed them down, and I stood out of the water. Then I had them face the wall and I did a quick wash for myself. Turn off the water, dry myself off, slip on some swim trunks, then get the girls dried and dressed in the stall in something loose (like a big nightshirt). Go back to the tent and get thoroughly dried and dressed.

    If people want to make an issue of it, go ahead, but it's no different than taking two kids in to a family restroom. This is stuff a single father just has to deal with and Disney makes it very easy to do so.
     
  17. JanL

    JanL Native Floridian

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    189
    I don't think they would allow a shower at the campsite because you can't dump water on the ground. The site where I was had a cement dump sink for grey water, so if you got a solar shower bag (Walmart $7) and left it in the sun on the picnic table, you could stand her over the dump sink and shower her off. You could set up a floorless shower/potty tent (about $40) over the dump sink for privacy. Then where would she stay when Dad uses the men's bath house?

    Some of the pop-ups for rent at FW do not have showers, so do your homework.

    Are there showers at the pool areas? If so, a swim just before dinner and a quick shower after would do the trick.
     
  18. colinsdad

    colinsdad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    637
    So the showers are inside the Men's area? At other campgrounds we've been to, the bathrooms are bathrooms, and the showers are separate single doors (first come first served, and not designated as W or M). I kind of assumed Disney would be the same and have private showers. This isn't the case? May be a deal breaker.
     
  19. CarolineB

    CarolineB DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    712
    I've only been in the women's bathroom but this is how it is set up:

    there are 2 sections or rows (a front section closest to the enter / exit door and a back section closest to the back wall)

    The front section has sinks on the left and a few toilet stalls on the right including one handicapped stall

    The back section has a bench on the left with hooks above it and the private dressing areas & shower stalls on the right.

    I googled Ft. Wilderness comfort station and pictures came up that showed the front section on the men's room has 2 urinals between the sinks and the toilet stalls.

    If I recall correctly, there is a companion restroom at Pioneer Hall.

    Here is a thread about unisex comfort stations not being required by ADA (american disability act):
    http://www.disboards.com/archive/index.php/t-2530274.html

    Here's a thread about the where you can find companion restrooms in WDW and Ft. Wilderness is listed:
    http://dailyhomerenotips.com/2011/09/03/more-on-disney-world-resort-companion-washrooms/

    another list of family restrooms at WDW theme parks:
    http://www.adisneymomsthoughts.com/2013/01/family-restrooms-at-walt-disney-world.html
     
  20. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    13,839
    Restrooms do not mean there will be showers in there.

    I sure hope you can think of a way to take your DD o The Fort. It sounds like a great bonding experience you'll both remember forever.
     
  21. OrlandoUnited

    OrlandoUnited Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    107
    If you've ever been to the water parks, the comfort stations are a similar setup. I still wash my kids in the bath, so it's not a big deal for me to clean them. There's plenty of room in there for both of you. Maybe bring a shower curtain with some suction cups so you can partition the area inside the stall?
    If the worry is your daughter seeing other people, I've never seen it happen. People tend to treat it as a public area, not like a gym locker room.

    As one father to another - you'll be fine.
     

Share This Page